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The Arts

Group fine-art glass exhibition opens Sept. 18

Annual show features works by Adams, Bergamini, Burch, Kekic, Schepker, and Sherwin

For more information, visit canalstreetartgallery.com, or contact Mike Noyes or Emmett Dunbar at 802-289-0104 or artinfo@canalstreetartgallery.com.

BELLOWS FALLS—Canal Street Art Gallery, 23 Canal St., presents its third annual “A World Suspended in Color” fine-art glass exhibition, which opens on Friday, Sept. 18 during Bellows Falls 3rd Friday Gallery Night with a live online event on Facebook at 6 p.m.

The exhibition will be on view to the public through Nov. 14, Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can also visit the Gallery’s Online Viewing Room, open all the time at canalstreetartgallery.com.

“With the gallery’s reopening to walk-in visitors, the public may once again appreciate, in person, the many nationally renowned, awarded and multi-talented glass artists of our region,” gallery staff wrote in a news release.

This year’s show includes members of both the Vermont Glass Guild and the League of NH Craftsmen, with artwork by Clare Adams, Lucy Bergamini, Robert Burch, Nicholas Kekic, Hans Schepker, and Chris Sherwin.

Adams, based in Cambridgeport, will present her most recent work. In the midst of the pandemic, she said she felt compelled to reach back centuries to the classic spiritual art of religious glass painting, as well as back to her own experiments in stained glass during high school.

Her new series of stained glass work combines her interests in painting, glass, color, craft, light, and nature. Inspired by American quilts, especially the traditional styles and asymmetry in African American quilts, Adams says that “to me each piece feels like a prayer. An Earth prayer collecting light energy for healing and renewal.”

Bergamini started Vitriesse Glass in Vermont in 1983, growing it into a successful wholesale and retail business. Currently located in Brattleboro, she continues to be passionate about glass and is strongly influenced by forms in nature, the human body, and the imagery of cell structure and DNA.

She has developed a line of glass beads using a similar process of pulling cane to create her well-known blown-glass forms and vessels. The canes are cut into beads, polished, and assembled with sterling silver and or gold to create the jewelry line on display.

Burch, a master glass blower, has worked in his current studio in Putney for over 40 years. His glass work consists of vases, perfume bottles, paperweights, and sculptural pieces. His current specialty is artwork that incorporates veiled silver glass with delicate bubble patterns.

“Most of my inspiration comes from my natural surroundings, and is further enhanced by the beauty of the glass in its molten state,” said Burch, who maintains a broad production line while increasing his focus on one-of-a-kind and commission work.

In 2017, Kekic, a third-generation glass worker, relocated Tsuga Studios from Chester to Bellows Falls, where he turned a renewed industrial mill space into a functional glass shop and showroom.

Most recently, he received the Annual Craftsmen’s Fair first place award for Best In Glass. “I see, more clearly than ever, an exciting and long-term path for my glasswork and my future career in Windham County,” he said.

In 2005, Chris Sherwin established Sherwin Art Glass from a studio overlooking the Connecticut River in Bellows Falls. The Brattleboro native’s furnace and all equipment (except the torch) are powered by the hydro electricity generated by the dam just feet away from his work benches.

“It feels good to be green glassblowing in the Green Mountain State, especially due to my working in a medium that generally uses a lot of fossil fuels,” Sherwin said.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #579 (Wednesday, September 16, 2020). This story appeared on page B3.

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